April 14, 2008
The University of Calgary today released the audit report of an independent review of research and trust accounts related to Friends of Science.
The audit, conducted by the University’s internal auditors, was requested by University administration following concerns about whether the U of C was used as a conduit in the funding of Friends of Science via a researcher’s trust accounts; whether the radio ads run by FOS in the last federal election were funded either directly or indirectly through the Researcher’s trust accounts; and whether activities funded by grants were not legitimate scientific research and education and were funded by anonymous donors to promote special interests.
The report is attached, including conclusions and the auditor’s recommendations, all of which were accepted by the University’s management with timelines for implementation.
“Two issues became very clear in reviewing this audit. First, we need to have a more thorough evaluation and approval process. Second, we need to ensure that all those involved in these accounts understand the rules and relevant regulatory and statutory requirements,” said Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-President, Academic. “We take these issues very seriously, as is indicated by our support for the Auditor's recommendations. Our public announcement of our support reflects our understanding of, and respect for, transparency.”
“We had sufficient concerns last year to sever any relationship with Friends of Science,” added Harrison. “That decision has not changed.”
Earlier this year the University of Calgary advised Elections Canada and Canada Revenue Agency of its concerns regarding the accounts Friends of Science and the ongoing auditor’s review.
The University has excluded sections of the auditor’s report under the relevant sections of the /Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
The University will not comment further with respect to the researcher. In addition, because the review as it relates to Elections Canada and Canada Revenue Agency is ongoing, the University will not comment until it receives further information from these agencies.
Until that portion of the review is complete, all questions will be referred to the University’s general counsel, Charlene Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org